Summer Box Office Worst in 17 Years
Ticket sales slump in North America
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2014 9:40 AM CDT
This photo released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Emily Blunt as Rita in a scene from 'Edge of Tomorrow.' The Tom Cruise flick didn't do as well as expected.   (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, David James)

(Newser) – If it seems like it's been a blah summer for movies, know that Hollywood's accountants feel the same way. The New York Times reports that this has been worst summer for the film industry in North America since 1997. Ticket sales from May through August are expected to come in at $3.9 billion, down 15% from last year. While movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Angelina Jolie's Maleficient, and Scarlett Johansson's Lucy did relatively well, supposed blockbusters such as Edge of Tomorrow and Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn't meet expectations, and sequels in general didn't seem to have the lure they once did.

Studios will surely counter that ticket sales must be counted worldwide now, not just in North America, but "what they do not often mention is that overseas ticket sales are often less profitable," writes Brooks Barnes. "In China, for instance, as little as 25 cents of every box office dollar comes back to Hollywood; in the United States, it’s 50 percent." So is this a sign of things to come? Don't bet on it, reports Vox, which quotes analyst Phil Contrino as saying 2014 was just an off year. "The movie industry is cyclical, and we're definitely in a down year, but that has a lot to do with the fact that 2015's slate is so impressive," he says. "Many of the strongest franchises are lined up for 2015, and 2014 has suffered as a result."

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Ezekiel 25:17
Sep 3, 2014 3:13 PM CDT
The golden formula is to appeal across the demo. Movies don't do that today. I'm talking like Forrest Gump appeal. Strangely enough some of the bigger movies are the ones that show the White House being destroyed with a Black president hiding in his hole. Go figure that one.
Sep 3, 2014 1:38 PM CDT
I like a lot of European movies. They tend to spend money on scripts instead of explosions and overpriced celebs that don't know how to act.
Sep 3, 2014 1:33 PM CDT
Maybe if they made movies with plots.. nevermind. Most moviegoers would just walk out after the movie saying "i don't get it, nothing exploded"